7 December, 2017. TBILISI. A high-level policy discussion is being organized by the Government of Georgia and UNICEF to bring together different partners and to analyse the gaps in providing services to children with disabilities. Because of scarcity and uneven distribution of services for children with disabilities and a high stigma towards disability, thousands of children cannot realize their potential.
The services for children with disabilities remain insufficient in numbers and/or non-existing in several municipalities/regions. There is a need to map these services and to define what is needed to ensure all children with disabilities in Georgia have access to the required services and support.
A significant number of children with disabilities remain invisible which means that these children have neither social benefits nor access to services and are excluded and discriminated. Availability of reliable statistics about the number of children with disabilities in the country and their needs is fundamental for developing national policies and programmes.
The policy discussion aims to develop specific recommendations and agree on the roadmap for improving accessibility and availability of services across the country. These recommendations will also become part of the national policy agenda.
Following the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Government of Georgia committed itself to better protect and maintain the basic rights of persons/children with disabilities, including the rights to live and receive appropriate health, education and social care.
UNICEF is working in partnership with the Government in realizing the Convention through moving to a social model of disability, supporting services, revising policies and legislation, de-institutionalizing children with disabilities and addressing stigma against disability in the society.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.